Poor choices dont represent an agenda | PostIndependent.com

Poor choices dont represent an agenda

In a rush to get a daily newspaper produced every day, sometimes we make decisions we’d like to take back.The headlines, photos and thousands of words in the newspaper can make an impression, wrong, right, bad or good.Take Thursday’s paper, for instance.The photo choice from the debate is an interesting choice as main art on the front page. What were we trying to say with that photo? Are we saying something because we portray H. Lawson Wills with his fist clinched and his eyes narrowed? Were we trying to portray him as angry as opposed to Colleen Truden’s calm composure?No.But they are Interesting questions, especially when you combine the photo with the headline, “Sparks fly at debate…”In reality, the debate was really pretty civil. Sure, both candidates slung a little mud. Truden at one point accused Wills of not having a spine. Wills on the other hand, constantly harped on Truden’s lack of experience. A lot of people might consider that sparks.But mostly, it was a mild debate.But photo plus headline equals agenda?We had an interesting discussion on the matter in the newsroom on Thursday.You can understand why people could get that impression. In some quarters of the community we have a terrible reputation as a paper that has an agenda. And you can see how sometimes something so seemingly innocent as a photo from a debate can set people off.So where am I going with this? Sometimes we need to think harder about the photos we choose and the words we use in headlines and stories. They can make a difference. As an old editor once told me: Sometimes in death, politics and tragedies, just play it straight, man.Nothing sinister was at work. We weren’t trying to cast someone in bad light.Simply put, we didn’t make the best choices when we were putting the paper to bed Wednesday night.I can assure you, though, the only agenda I have is for the Post Independent to be the best small daily newspaper in Colorado.Thomas Martinez is the managing editor of the Post Independent.

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